What can be said about a squonk-ready, BF-RDA that hasn’t already been written in digital ink? Not much, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good products still hitting the streets. The Bruce Pro Innovations Yellow Jacket 24mm RDA is a solid entry into this crowded field, sporting a combination of stainless steel and ULTEM construction, a streamlined airflow system, and a gold-plated internal umbrella post, introduced last year on the Sumo RDA. (reviewed here)
Right from the outset, know this – the Yellow Jacket isn’t aimed at beginner RDA users. Nor should it be; even with a wide, seemingly simple quad-post build deck, the Yellow Jacket takes a little work to understand, and a little more to operate properly. But when it does, back up and let it fly, because Bruce Pro Innovations created another strong cloud performer, if not a flavor beast.
The choice of materials was selected to supposedly even out heating. In that sense, the Yellow Jacket is as annoying as its namesake, because the tank section gets AWFULLY hot under steady use. But it’s almost forgivable because of the awesome squonking performance that allows e-liquid to run up the center and down the topside evenly onto the coils.
In that sense, the Yellow Jacket is a complete win, because the e-liquid distribution on this RDA is as good as any squonk-ready dripper I’ve seen to date. (And we’ve seen some good ones.)
My test edition of the Yellow Jacket was a clean-looking, nicely finished gold-trim, with large, ULTEM cutaways on either side for aesthetics. There are also adjustable airflow slots on either side that resemble a sub-ohm tank more than any typical RDA.
The Yellow Jacket consists of two top covers, a translucent “primary” cover made of ULTEM that measures 24mm and serves as the main container area. But there’s also another, more elegantly designed exterior cover that acts as the air intake control cap. It’s an interesting setup, to be sure. But it’s also a major pain in the ass to assemble and disassemble, and honestly, I didn’t really get the point.
The build deck posts have massive terminals, capable of handling much thicker coils than I installed. But the large, secure screws held all my wire with ease, and no unwanted play after installing. However, for some reason, I had some difficulty getting my coils to get placed properly. It wasn’t terrible, but in this era of “set it and forget it” build decks, this was definitely more advanced than I expected.
Not to be redundant, but my favorite feature of the Yellow Jacket RDA is the e-liquid distribution. This top-facing addition at the center of the build deck serves as a rudder of sorts, redirecting your juice evenly on all areas of the deck, directly onto your coils.
The juice well catches runoff with ease, making it simple to drip through the 8mm wide bore drip tip. Though it’s hardly a new idea at this point, this is perhaps the best rendition of the umbrella/rainfall design and is a highlight of the Yellowjacket RDA.
BRUCE PRO INNOVATIONS YELLOW JACKET SPECS:
- 24mm Diameter Base Diameter
- ULTEM Top Cap
- 25mm Diameter with Air Flow Control Cap
- Quad Post Single Terminal Build Deck – Single Terminal Per Post
- 4mm Deep Juice Well
- Umbrella Style Juice Distribution
- Adjustable Bottom Airflow System
- Dual 9mm by 3mm Air slots
BRUCE PRO INNOVATIONS YELLOW JACKET CONTENTS:
- 1x Bruce Pro Innovations Yellow Jacket BF RDA
- 1x Parts Bag
- 1x Bottom Feed Pin
- 1x Hex Key
Observations While Vaping
Bruce Pro Innovations didn’t create the Yellow Jacket for newcomers. That’s not to say it’s overly complicated, or unwieldy. It’s just clearly aimed at vapers who want to push the limits of their builds, and their cloud production.
The flavor performance on the Yellow Jacket is firmly above-average – nothing world-beating, but not best-in-class, either. Some of my simpler flavors really shone here, but more complex, layered flavor combinations struggled to really get up to speed. Again, not bad, but nothing that will make you drop your current favorite in favor of the Yellowjacket.
I found my best flavor performance to come from closing off the adjustable airflow about halfway, letting the flavor come to the forefront. This concentrated the flavor a bit, lessening the cloud production to a slightly lower fog. But even at this setting, there was more than enough air throughout the Yellowjacket, even if it did get very hot at this setting.
In fact, I’d venture to say that the dual-cap arrangement actually made the RDA contain heat rather than dissipate it, leading to some uncomfortable draws at higher wattages.
Another item of note is how thirsty the Yellow Jacket can be. Even with the deep juice well, the RDA went through e-liquid at an exponential rate. I found myself watching the cotton more than I would usually with a squonk RDA, somewhat defeating the purpose of having a BF device. It’s not that the Yellowjacket is the only BF-RDA with this issue, but it’s definitely one of the thirstiest drippers I’ve seen in some time.
I imagine that using more conservative coil builds and less-steady use, the juice well would allow for longer durations between squeezes. And the heat might actually lessen under the same conditions. But considering that this is a performance-focused RDA, I anticipate a lot of users getting frustrated with the excessive refilling.
Now, I know this was designed for cloud performance, so chain vaping and longer draws might not have been front of mind when Bruce Pro sent the Yellowjacket to be produced. But I’ve always found the best drippers to be the ones that can perform for average, everyday use, as well. I think the Yellow Jacket might be a little TOO “performance-focused” for newcomers to enjoy, especially with the excessive heat that radiates from the mouthpiece.
The Yellow Jacket RDA also isn’t the easiest device to build on, but once you find that sweet spot, you’ll be rewarded with massive vapor, even if the flavor isn’t quite where it needs to be.